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Louisville, Kentucky Lawmakers Suggest Invoice to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

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Members of the Louisville, Kentucky metropolis council launched a proposed ordinance on Wednesday that will make possession of small quantities of marijuana the bottom legislation enforcement precedence for town’s police division. The proposal was filed by 4 Democratic members of the Louisville Metro Council, together with Councilman Brandon Coan, who represents Louisville’s District eight.

“The concept is fairly simple: You don’t need to punish someone who makes a minor indiscretion … to stop them from getting a job or advancing of their profession or being prejudiced in some other regular lifestyle,” said Coan.

The ordinance would make “investigation, citations, and arrests” for possession of lower than one-half ounce of marijuana the bottom legislation enforcement precedence, though it might not legalize cannabis possession or use. Marijuana possession instances associated to “an act or risk of violence, or the place public security officers moderately consider that the marijuana offense poses a considerable risk of great bodily hurt to the general public” wouldn’t be lined by the ordinance.

“We don’t need to should ship individuals downtown and thru the court docket system for small infractions that aren’t critical issues,” Coan said. “We actually want police to be on the road and out there to answer violent crime and different critical crimes.”

Police, Mayor Push Again

Jessie Halladay, a spokeswoman for the Louisville Metro Police mentioned that officers have already stopped making arrests in most marijuana possession instances.

“Police are statutorily required to put in writing citations for small quantities of marijuana possession already, until there may be another circumstance associated to public security,” Halladay wrote. “Our division continues to give attention to violent crime as a prime precedence.”

Halladay added that Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has mentioned beforehand that “he should comply with the legal guidelines as written in Kentucky and marijuana stays unlawful on this commonwealth.”

Jean Porter, a spokeswoman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, wrote in an announcement that the purpose of the proposed ordinance is already in impact.

“First, marijuana remains to be unlawful in Kentucky, and the mayor has a constitutional obligation to uphold the legislation,” Porter wrote. “Second, LMPD already prioritizes violent crime, and state legislation has, since 2011, required police to situation citations as a substitute of arresting people for possessing marijuana in low quantities.”

Earlier this 12 months, an investigation revealed that Black individuals, who make up lower than one-fourth of Louisville’s inhabitants, had been the defendants in two-thirds of the instances the place possession of marijuana was probably the most critical cost.

Coan, who was joined in proposing the ordinance by Councilwomen Jessica Inexperienced, Barbara Sexton Smith, and Cindi Fowler, mentioned he believes the measure may very well be thought of by metropolis council committees as quickly as Might 29.

A measure just like Louisville’s bid to chill out the enforcement of marijuana legal guidelines was proposed by a member of town council in Jacksonville, Florida on Thursday.

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